Solid neutrals. You can't miss with a pair of armchairs upholstered in natural linen and a light rug. Mixing patterns with the throw pillows brings a bit of interest to the room, but keeping them in the neutral range means they will all go effortlessly together.
Same material, different patterns. The weight and texture of a fabric is key – choosing a similar type of fabric for accent pillows, poufs and chairs can help make your striped sofa fit in. For example, in the space shown here, a rough, textured striped sofa is accented with a few equally nubby pillows and a kilim pouf. If you have a fine linen sofa, try pairing it with cotton voile pillows; a velvet sofa would call for something thick and luxurious, like wool (or more velvet).
Go large. Small knickknacks can look rather lost and insignificant on a mantelpiece. The solution? Choose chunky, oversized pieces that are guaranteed to make an impact. Here a kind of gothic‐meets‐pop‐art look gives this mantelpiece masses of original style. The hot‐pink letters add a zingy focal point against the gray backdrop and prevent the skull and statues from looking too intimidating.